WHAT IS BB101 AND WHAT WAS THE AIM OF THE 2018 UPDATE?
Building Bulletin 101, shortened to BB101, is a document produced by the UK Government providing guidance on thermal comfort, ventilation and indoor air quality in schools. It is aimed at technical professionals involved in the design, specification and construction of new school buildings, and the refurbishment of existing ones.
The current version of BB101 was published in 2018, replacing the 2006 version. The updated title – ‘Guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality in schools’ – reflects the wider scope of the document compared to ‘Ventilation of school buildings’ in 2006.
In dealing only with ventilation, the 2006 version of BB101 set recommendations for schools ventilated by natural means, mechanical means, or a hybrid of the two.
The last twelve years has seen: several revisions to national building regulations; the improved understanding and development of more effective ventilation systems; and increased general awareness of climate change, building occupant comfort and air quality issues.
Natural ventilation is unpredictable, being reliant on external air movement and pressure to drive the stack effect. Mechanical ventilation is controllable, but a school building ventilated only by a mechanical system misses out on ‘free’ natural ventilation on the days when conditions are right. BB101 was therefore revised to guide construction professionals toward a better balance of the two.
While ventilation is a critical aspect of occupant comfort, meeting ventilation rate targets alone does not guarantee a healthy environment for learning. BB101 2018 addresses air quality and thermal comfort too, encouraging an holistic approach to school design.
Jaga produce a range of Oxygen ventilation systems with demand control, and Low-H2O technology radiators, that make it possible to achieve a healthy and pleasant indoor climate throughout the year, with low power consumption.
Jaga’s Oxygen ventilation system is intelligently controlled and designed to suit individual rooms. Couple the Oxygen system with Low-H2O technology radiators and it’s possible to achieve a healthy and pleasant indoor climate throughout the year, with low power consumption. For more technical advice on selecting ventilation solutions, contact our UK support team.
IS BB101 A REGULATION?
Building Bulletin 101 is a government guideline document and does not have the same status as that of building regulations and their supporting documents. One of the functions of BB101 is to summarise the existing regulatory framework as it relates to schools, effectively acting as a single point of reference from which users can seek out other relevant documents and guidance.
As with many similar technical documents and codes of practice, while the contents of BB101 are ‘recommendations’, the document’s authority is conferred by the industry itself adopting the contents and making it a condition of projects that the recommendations are met.
Ultimately, the importance of BB101 to specification is the benefits that result from achieving its aims and recommendations. A well-ventilated, thermally comfortable school building with high levels of indoor air quality is good for the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff.
Making good use of natural ventilation when possible, and utilising passive solar techniques to avoid overheating, means the building operates cost effectively and efficiently, minimising energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
The principles of BB101 are important to building design and construction generally. As a designer, specifier or contractor, being conversant in BB101’s recommendations – and being able to demonstrate a track record in delivering school buildings that meet them – will have a positive knock-on effect for other projects too.
WHAT GUIDELINES DOES BB101 SET OUT FOR SCHOOLS?
Building Bulletin 101 sets out recommendations for thermal comfort, ventilation and indoor air quality in schools.
Ventilation standards are given for all spaces, with maximum levels of carbon dioxide specified for teaching areas and minimum rates of ventilation in certain other spaces (such as where practical activities are carried out).
To achieve an appropriate level of thermal comfort, advice is given on suitable room temperatures and controlling draughts. Detailed calculation methods for working out thermal comfort are included, featuring an assessment to help avoid overheating in summer. The calculations have been structured so as to make the best possible use of passive design techniques, avoiding the need for expensive, inefficient and unnecessary air conditioning.
Design guidance on indoor air quality details potential pollution sources, including the impact of material and product specification, taking into account possible levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). There is also a focus on the impact of external air quality on the ‘fresh’ air supplied into the building, so looking at ways to reduce these factors is important.
For technical advice on designing and specifying suitable ventilation solutions to meet the recommendations of BB101, contact our UK support team. Alternatively, request a CPD seminar on ventilation in schools.
HOW CAN THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF BB101 BE BEST MET?
BB101 makes a compelling case for specifying Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) solutions, which provide precise, intelligently-controlled levels of fresh air in each individual room or space.
A DCV solution – such as Jaga’s Oxygen system – delivers clean, filtered, fresh air on demand. Coupled with Low-H2O technology radiators, it’s possible to achieve a healthy indoor climate for teaching and learning throughout the year, with low power consumption.
It ensures a balance of thermal comfort and air quality, while keeping carbon dioxide emissions as low as possible. Benefits of natural ventilation can still be enjoyed on days when the conditions are right, with the knowledge that the mechanical system can meet demand whenever needed.